A gold medal and national record in the final event of the final day of racing perfectly summed up the Southland team’s performance at the Track National Championships, which took place at the Grassroots Trust Velodrome in Cambridge.
George Manson and Magnus Jamieson set a new national record in the U17 boys team sprint, capping off what has been a spectacular week for the team, but especially for Jamieson, who started his campaign with two gold medals on the first day of competition, claiming the U17 boys individual pursuit, followed shortly thereafter by the U17 boys elimination race. In total Jamieson claimed eight medals, taking at least one medal on each day of the competition, with three gold medals, a silver medal, and four bronze medals making him the most awarded rider in the Southland team.
Caitlin Kelly also had a massive championships in the under 17 girls division, with six medals including one gold, in the team sprint with Riley Faulkner, three silver medals, and two bronze medals, while Emily Forsyth made her presence felt in the under 15 girls division, with six medals, including five silver medals and one bronze medal.
The event was run under a somewhat different format this year, with Covid restrictions resulting in three bubbles being created, one for the U15 and U17 girls and boys, one for the U19, Elite, and Paracycling women, and one for the U19, Elite, and Paracycling men, with racing taking place in three separate sessions during each day.
Success started early for the Southland team, with Jamieson claiming two gold medals in the first session of racing, wining the U17 boys individual pursuit and elimination race. Forsyth claimed two silver medals in the same session, in the U15 girls elimination race and the 500m time trial, while Caitlin Kelly also claimed a silver in the U17 girls individual pursuit.
Nick Kergozou delivered one of the highlights of the day as he defended his crown in the 1000m time trial for Elite men, taking the gold medal and setting a new championship record in the process, while Nicole Marshall claimed bronze in the Elite women 500m time trial.
The highlight of day two has to be Southland’s U19 and Elite women claiming four medals in a five minute span of racing, as Ciara Kelly took gold in the U19 women Keirin, with Pearl Harris-Blain taking silver, while Nicole Marshall took silver in the Elite women sprint, with Geertien Venter taking bronze. There was also a gold medal for Ronan Shearing in the U19 men Keirin, while Bradly Knipe claimed silver in the Elite men sprint, with Nick Kergozou taking bronze in the same event. Forsyth added a silver in the U15 girls points race to her growing collection, while Caitlin Kelly added a bronze in the U17 girls scratch race, and Jamieson a bronze in the U17 boys scratch race. Poppy McIvor also opened her account with a bronze in the U15 girls points race.
Paracyclist Connor Douglas provided the highlight on day three of competition, taking gold in the 1000m time trial, while the prolific trio of Forsyth, Jamieson, and Caitlin Kelly continued their medal run, with Kelly taking silver in the U17 girls points race, Jamieson taking bronze in the U17 boys points race, and Forsyth bronze in the U15 girls derby.
Tom Sexton provided one of the highlights of day four with an inspired ride in the Elite men individual pursuit securing the gold medal, while Bradly Knipe showed immense skill to take silver in the Elite men Keirin. There were also silver medals for George Manson and Ciara Kelly in the U17 boys and girls 500m time trial respectively, Emily Forsyth in the U15 girls scratch race, and for Frankie Thomson and Magnus Jamieson in the U17 boys Madison. Zadie Scott paired up with Caitlin Kelly to take bronze in the U17 girls Madison, Jamieson took bronze in the U17 boys 500m time trial, Pearl Harris-Blain took bronze in the U19 women sprint, Nicole Marshall in the Elite women Keirin, and Poppy McIvor in the U15 girls scratch race.
The final day of competition produced more success for Southland, with gold and a national record for Manson and Jamieson in the U17 boys team sprint, a gold and national championship record for Faulkner and Kelly in the U17 girls team sprint, and a gold in the Elite men team sprint for Haydn Jack, Bradly Knipe, and Nick Kergozou. There was also a silver for Emily Forsyth and Poppy McIvor in the U15 girls team sprint, a silver for Charlie Tinoai, Ronan Shearing, and Marshall Erwood in the U19 men teams sprint, a bronze for the U17 boys team pursuit team of Magnus Jamieson, Frankie Thomson, Liam Ramsey, Finn Edwards, and Kayne Borrie (who rode in place of Edwards in the qualifying round), as well as a silver for Lucy Griffin in the U17 girls team pursuit, riding for a composite team, and a bronze for Ruby Bath in the U19 and Elite women team pursuit, also riding for a composite team.
All in all, 25 members of the Southland team stepped onto the podium during the event, with numerous other riders finishing in the top five in their events or qualifying for finals. Add in many personal best times, and it was a highly successful event for Southland.